Attention to Orders
Story by SSgt Mary McKnight on 07/16/2019
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. Attention to orders!
As you were, not those kind of orders; but the type of orders that make up the body of our Air Force career. We have Basic Military Training orders, Technical Training orders, Active Duty for Operational Support orders and Annual Training orders. The list goes on and on. Orders come in different forms over the course of an Air Force reservist’s career and it can be hard to keep up with the specified scope of every order issued.
While there may be many different types of orders outlined in Air Force Instruction 36-2254, “Reserve Personnel Participation,” this particular article will narrow in on just a few.
Some of the most common orders issued within the 916th Air Refueling Wing here are for BMT, school, AT or ADOS, said Keibu B. Kamarakafego, a Military Pay Specialist with the 916th ARW.
As a part of Active Duty Training, AT is the 15-day period exclusive of travel time, required as a minimum to meet your reserve commitment. When on AT orders each member has a maximum of four calendar travel days available for use. While this is an entitlement, supervisors cannot split AT orders in order to increase the pay factor for their member. AT can only be split when it is beneficial to training needs. Furthermore, should a member need to save travel days, a supervisor may grant the member a delayed start on the morning of the first duty day and/or an early release on the afternoon of the last duty day. Due to the length of time set aside for AT orders, leave cannot be accrued during this period.
As in the career of an Air Force reservist lets transition from one order type to the next.
Reserve Personnel Appropriations and Military Personnel Appropriations, also known as ADOS orders, are used for projects in direct support of Reserve component programs where training is not the main priority for the member. Although ADOS orders are referred to as both RPA & MPA tours, neither of the two can be combined. Also, to ensure no disruption of benefits and entitlements to the member and/or their dependents, under no circumstance is a member to be taken off ADOS orders for holidays or weekends only to resume orders to complete the same task the next working day following the holiday or weekend. Additionally, since ADOS orders can be issued in increments of 30 days or more, leave can be accrued.
Use it or lose it? It’s not quite that simple when it comes to accrued leave.
Reserve members are not required to use, sell or lose their leave. While carryover leave cannot be used in conjunction with AT orders it can be used with their next active duty long tour. Leave is accrued on orders of 30 days or more and must be included in the orders at the time they are issued or before they are closed out, whether spread throughout or at the end of the order. Per AFI 36-2254, outside of any unforeseen circumstances, the member must be afforded the opportunity to take leave and cannot be forced to sell unused leave at the end of a tour.
Although leave is a right unit commanders will approve or deny leave based on mission needs. For that reason, AFI 36-3003, “Military Leave Program” encourages leave to be used as it is accrued.
Knowing the scope of orders and how to apply leave is important for all reservists to know, along with how to be compensated for their orders. Reservists must remember to certify their orders one of two ways; manually or through the Air Reserve Orders Writing System-Reserve.
“We honestly would like everyone to do everything in AROWS-R, that’s the ultimate goal,” said Kamarakafego. “When you do it through AROWS-R it takes away from the human error.”
So again, attention to orders; the orders that guide your career, determine your leave and ensure you are compensated for your work. For every order that is issued, there is guidance to provide you the scope of that order and the parameters in which they can be used. While a few order types and the scope in which they can be utilized were touched upon, more details can be reviewed in AFI 36-2554 and AFI 36-3003.